Decaf espresso might seem like a non-sequitur, but it’s real – and Philly Fair Trade Roasters has some of the best decaf espresso around.
Here’s the short and long on decaf espresso, how it’s made, and who’s got it.
Decaf Espresso Explained
First, it’s worth understanding that espresso describes a brewing method, not necessarily a type or roast of coffee, though that can be true too.
Espresso is a concentrated coffee-based beverage made by forcing hot water at high pressure through finely-ground coffee beans. It’s typically served in a small cup called a demitasse, and it has a rich, bold flavor and a thick, creamy texture. It’s also commonly used as the base for other coffee drinks, like lattes, cappuccinos, and macchiatos.
The quality of espresso really depends on the quality of the coffee beans, the grind size, and the brewing technique. Espresso beans are generally roasted darker than regular coffee beans, and the grind size should be very fine, almost like sand, to ensure a proper extraction.
Decaf espresso is just made from decaffeinated coffee beans!
How Is Decaf Espresso Made?
With one of about four methods, caffeine can be extracted from coffee cherries (which you know as green coffee beans) before the coffee is roasted and ground.
While this article won’t cover the process of creating decaffeinated coffee, you should know that at Philly Fair Trade Roasters, we tend to use the non-chemical approaches to decaffeinating espresso or coffee beans.
The Best Decaf Espresso You Can Order Online
1. Philly Fair Trade Roasters’ Decaf Espresso Roast
Our Decaf Espresso Blend has a big, smooth caramel flavor that’s simply great for an incredible cup of espresso at home or at your cafe.
Whether you’re a perfectionist with a $6000-Miele machine or a home-brew aficionado looking to just back of your caffeine intake, our Decaf Espresso Blend will delight your senses. And, you can choose from a whopping eight grinds, including whole bean (and bulk whole bean) or Turkish grind!
Decaffeinated through the Swiss Mountain Water process, there are no weird chemicals or solvents used on these beautiful beans. Drink with comfort – and less caffeine buzz.
2. Intelligentsia Decaf Black Cat Espresso
Intelligentsia has grown in size and awareness across the states thanks to buzzy marketing around their sourcing and fair trade practices (like us!), and they roast some mean coffee.
Their Decaf Black Cat Espresso makes a great miniature cup of joe, and it’s a good option for those who care about cutting out the caffeine while maintaining quality espresso flavor.
3. Grounds for Change Decaf Espresso
Fair Trade certified (like us) and organic, Grounds for Change’s Decaf Espresso blend is another respected option for decaf espresso drinkers.
It delivers a smooth shot with a rich flavor, and because it’s available in a whole bean, you can grind to your own specifics when making your decaf espresso.
4. Equal Exchange Decaf Espresso
If you’re looking for a delicious and ethical decaf espresso, Equal Exchange Decaf Espresso is a great option, although availability can vary.
While the company has become quite large, and we can no longer consider it a true “micro roaster” like Philly Fair Trade, Equal Exchange is a worker-owned cooperative that’s committed to social justice and environmental sustainability, working directly with small farmers in developing countries to ensure that they’re paid a fair price for their coffee.
Espresso Tips When Going Decaf
Here are some additional things those considering decaf at home should think about when choosing a decaf espresso:
- Decaffeination method: There are four main methods of decaffeinating coffee, and only two avoid caustic chemicals in the process: the Swiss water process and the carbon dioxide process. The Swiss water process is considered to be the most environmentally friendly method and is less costly than the carbon dioxide process; it also does not use any chemicals and relies on filters. Others, like the methylene chloride process, are less expensive but can leave behind some residual chemicals in the coffee.
- Caffeine levels: While decaffeinated coffee and decaf espresso are largely caffeine free, the process can leave some caffeine behind, usually less than 0.1% of the coffee’s original caffeine content.
- Roast level: Espresso is typically made with dark roast coffee beans. Dark roast coffee beans have a richer flavor and a thicker crema than lighter roast coffee beans.
- Flavor profile: Espresso can be made with a variety of flavor profiles, and you’ll frequently read about notes of chocolate, caramel, hazelnut, and other rich aromatics.
- Price: Decaf espresso can be more expensive than regular espresso considering the added cost of the decaffeination process, though this has improved in the last decade.
The Best Decaf Espresso You Can Get Online?
While all of the options above are great and come from admirable roasters, we’re admittedly partial to Philly Fair Trade’s decaf espresso, for a few reasons.
- Our decaf espresso is USDA-Certified Organic and Fair Trade Certified
- It carries an excellent, rich flavor on the brighter end of the spectrum, ideal for a great morning at home and perfected by our roaster of many years, Joe himself
- We have flexible buying options, from bulk espresso decaf (5lb and up) to monthly, freshly ground deliveries
- We're a Central Pennsylvania coffee roaster for those who care about proximity and supporting their local community!
- Finally, while we wish we could give it away, we do run a business, and we want our coffee-drinking friends buying our great products!